WIGAN police today reinforced the message to rape victims that wide-ranging support is available to them in the run-up to Christmas.
Sadly there is often an increase in sex crimes over the festive season due largely to acohol excess.
But the last six years have seen significant improvements in the police response to sexual offences in Greater Manchester, including the specialist training of officers, early evidence kits, greater access to sexual assault referral centres, closer work with support groups, and the creation of a serious sexual offences unit dealing with all rapes.
Officers also work with the Crown Prosecution Service to give people the confidence to report rape and ensure that evidence is presented in the strongest possible way to secure a conviction.
Temporary Det Supt Jill Clarke said: “We need to be honest about the challenges that are faced in investigating and prosecuting rape, but we will do everything we can to ensure that victims get the support they need, and that justice is done. We will also do all we can to increase reporting levels, as coming forward after an ordeal of this kind can be a huge step.
“I would like to reassure people by reminding them that the conviction rate for rape nationally is at an all-time high, and this is down to police, prosecutors and other agencies working together to develop victim-focused approaches and take cases through the courts.
“Finally, I want to stress that victims should always have the confidence to report an offence, as doing so triggers a full investigation, and means they can access the specialist medical treatment and support services to help them cope.”
To stay safe on a night out, police recommend planning the journey home in advance, pacing drinks by mixing them with non-alcoholic ones, and sticking with friends.